Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Hey everyone,

So with the exception of a couple Billy Joel ballads, I've come to realize that the only music that can really make a grown man like myself tear up is a moving orchestral piece. The sad thing is that for me, most circumstances in life (e.g heartbreak) really can't drive me to tears. I've never been much of a crier, but there are just some melodies and arrangements that break me down.

So I figured I'd ask all of you if anyone has had a similar emotional connection to a piece of music, whether it is from the sheer beauty of it all, or perhaps it brings back a painful memory from the past.

For me, Pietro Mascagni's Intermezzo from Cavelleria Rusticana does it...

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This piece by Wilhelm Stenhammar "Vårnatt" (Spring Night) always sends chills down my spine. It is a lot about the melancholy of the (earthly) spring that rises after death (in nature as well as human).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1UJKbDVNX0

The one piece I can think of that reliably makes me either have to quickly hit pause or do a sad is Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)":


I'd always been consumed on listening by the weird combination of serenity, hope and bitter sadness I hear in the piece, but it somehow became associated with my father as he slowly died of cancer. So a difficult listen these days.

I also recommend these three by Steven Wilson for anyone who wants beautiful, haunting songs about death, loss and the acceptance thereof (with beautiful stop motion videos), all of which have broken me down at some time or another.
https://youtu.be/sh5mWzKlhQY
https://youtu.be/n8sLcvWG1M4
https://youtu.be/ycYewhiaVBk

Not much classical music makes me cry, not that it's bad if it doesn't, but the pieces I mention a lot on here are "Spem in Alium" and "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis". Trust Tallis to hit the feels.

You can't beat a tune about war.........

This does it for me--Ralph Vaughan Williams ~ The Lark Ascending

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

The music that makes me "misty" is that which overwhelms.  Music that is full of emotion and beauty, arriving unexpectedly yet with absolute inevitability.  

Two passages immediately spring to mind, though you kind of have to listen to the whole thing...  :D

This passage from the Andante movement of Mahler 6th Symphony

up to about 2 minutes after this point

https://youtu.be/YsEo1PsSmbg?t=36m12s

The last variation in Beethoven's op 132 string quartet (Heiliger Dankgesang)

up to about 3 minutes after this point

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiVbMB6iLPc&feature=youtu.be&am...

Scotto singing Madama Butterfly is pretty great, too...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9xU9iCGvV8&feature=youtu.be&am...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trfLkYpOglA

Renee Fleming, song to the moon from Rusalka.

I didn't know Dvorak had written an opera.

I have the experience of song to the moon as Michael mentioned. This music is maybe the best thing Dvorak ever did.

If the truth be told, there are no compositions bringing tears to my eyes, it's the performance that does that.
Yes, going by usual replies folks may think this sarcasm but no, this is straight up. Composition is overrated, performance is key to my love of music.

Fair enough if it's a bad performance, but if you get moved, the composition surely takes some credit.

Ray said:

If the truth be told, there are no compositions bringing tears to my eyes, it's the performance that does that.
Yes, going by usual replies folks may think this sarcasm but no, this is straight up. Composition is overrated, performance is key to my love of music.

Slow movement from Rachmaninovs' 2nd symphony will always get me as does Driscollmusics choice above. Also the sunrise section from Ravels' Daphnis and Chloe. Oh, and the clusters of gorgeous harmony found in Dutilleuxs' scores, etc etc etc.....oh and With you I'm born again by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright........

Yes you're right compositions can be great however composers, they're the pits.

Dave Dexter said:

Fair enough if it's a bad performance, but if you get moved, the composition surely takes some credit.

Ray said:

If the truth be told, there are no compositions bringing tears to my eyes, it's the performance that does that.
Yes, going by usual replies folks may think this sarcasm but no, this is straight up. Composition is overrated, performance is key to my love of music.

When I was in high school in the late 60's, I got a chance to visit the Griffith Observatory in LA. At that time they had the biggest planetarium in the west. I'd never seen a show like the one they put on. At the end of the show the announcer said that night was over and it was time to start a new day. In the darkness we heard a solo horn begin to play. The "sky" began to brighten. The music swelled, and as sunrise became full, so did the brilliant, blazing music. I'd never heard or seen anything so fantastic in my life. To this day it is very hard to top that experience. I found out that the music was the end of the Firebird. If you pay any attention to things I post here you will note that I almost always include a horn solo. It's my way of paying homage to that experience.

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